Nick Poindexter

My style's like a chemical spill

Tag: 1 Peter

You Don’t Pet A Lion

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
-1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

The apostle Peter’s audience in the early Christian church had suffered through very difficult times. They had been mocked, criticized, and slandered by their culture. Because of the persecution they were facing, the people were inevitably feeling alone and helpless, especially if they focused solely on their troubles.

So as Peter is writing to them, he compares the devil to a lion, something they certainly would have understood due to their geography. Lions weren’t just observed at a zoo or circus… Lions were literally living in their backyards, and therefore they knew the animal’s habits. Specifically they knew that when a lion is looking for a victim to attack, they seek out the weakest — those who are young, sick or dragging behind.

That’s why its important to know the specifics about the people Peter is writing to. Just like a baby wildebeest on the African plains, these young Christians were vulnerable for attack.

So let me ask this… If I told you there was a lion hiding somewhere outside your doors, crouched and ready to devour you, would that instantly change your actions, decisions and priorities? I would hope so! Suddenly checking the mailbox isn’t as important.

You’d probably even go to extreme lengths to make sure you and those you care about were protected the lion’s attacks… For example, if you found out that giraffe pee was a natural lion repellent, I doubt you’d think twice about carrying a vile of the stuff around with you whenever you stepped outside.

Sure, it sounds excessive. Sure, others won’t get it. Sure, you may get ridiculed. But it’s a whole lot better than getting devoured by a lion, right?!

I firmly believe if we treated Peter’s statement like we really believed it, our lives would look a lot differently. But instead of taking the proper precautions, we snuggle up close to sin and temptation. Despite the obvious dangers, we think we can handle it.

Folks, you don’t pet a lion! Instead you do whatever it takes to safeguard yourself from them, no questions asked.

Once again, we’ve got to take what Peter said seriously… There is a lion on the prowl out there waiting to tear you limb from limb. So be self-controlled, be alert, and resist him by standing firm in the faith.

If not, the next to be devoured might be you.

What Someone Will Pay For It

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
-1 Peter 1:18-19 (NLT)

One of my favorite television shows is Pawn Stars, which depicts the day-to-day dealings of a Las Vegas pawn shop. Oftentimes someone will bring in some super-rare historical item, something the pawn shop owners have never seen before, so they’ll have an expert give them an appraisal. Sometimes they will comment that a similar item sold at auction recently for a certain price. But sometimes the expert is dumbfounded. They don’t have a clue where to begin in pricing the item, so you’ll hear them say something to the effect of:

“It’s worth what someone will pay for it.”

What they mean is because of the item’s uniqueness there’s no precedent for what it would sell for. It’s virtually impossible to place a specific value on it. You basically have to just throw it out on the market and see what happens. Because you never know… At auction, two guys could bid against each other back and forth all day, sending the price through the roof.

In Peter’s first letter, the author reminders his readers that they too were purchased at a great price by God. He uses the slavery/hostage term “ransom” to explain this, which is simply a payment that buys someone’s freedom. Just like a slave is controlled by his master, we are slaves to our sin. But, as Peter points out, our freedom was paid for with the blood of Jesus.

So if something’s worth is established by what someone is willing to pay for it, then what does that say about our value to God? Wow! It’s inconceivable!

God sacrificed everything, and that changes everything. It shifts the way we think about ourselves, the way we think about others, and most importantly, the way we think about God. Our Father in Heaven wanted nothing more than to set us free from the entrapment of our sin that he was willing to pay whatever it took to do just that. And we weren’t bought with gold, silver, or buckets of cash. It was the sacrifice of his son, Jesus.

When our lives were thrown out on the the market, the devil put up a fight, but God didn’t hesitate. When he put down the decisive bid of Jesus, it sent a resounding message to all… “They are mine and I don’t care what I have to pay to get them!” And because of that, we are free.

Thank God, he was willing to pay for it.

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